Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

WARNING - Some of the following may spoil the plot, although I'll try and avoid doing so in too significant a manner.

So I consoled myself over the loss of "War Reporting for Cowards" by reading the same book that 350 million others have been reading over the last week or two. While I don't really have anything overwhelmingly negative to say about the experience, I am thankful that I am a fast reader and it only took me about 6 hours to get through it.

I walked away from the book (well, more like turned out the light and went to sleep) with two clear lingering thoughts.

First of all, all the pre-book speculation about people dying turned out to be both right on the mark and wildly off base (how's that for avoiding spoilers). Deaths were somewhat gratuitous and insignificant, and yet were of the sort that students of literature fifty years from now will deem to have been central to plot advancement and critical to character development (at least, for those characters who remained alive, that is).

As for the grand denouement and the climactic scenes leading up to it, in truth I think many readers will find themselves surprisingly unsurprised. It seems to me that Rowling either unwittingly backed herself into a corner with the previous books, or else had always known how things would unfold, and revealed more than she really intended. That, or my guesses happened to be good ones.

As her characters have grown from book to book, Rowling's writing has clearly evolved with the series. The books are still a light read, as they should be, but she has done well with this one to keep me engaged despite the lack of suspense - I cast my mind back to the first book, which took me several attempts to plough through because it was simply not well written.

Can't really say much more without spoiling it for my two readers, so I won't.

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